Mortgage-Loan Modification Scam Ends with Serious ConsequencesA California man that operated as a high-level sales executive for a fraudulent residential mortgage-loan modification scheme will now spend several years in jail.

From 2009 to 2016, Mehdi Moarefian (aka Michael Miller) acted as a senior sales manager for a series of California-based companies that purported to help struggling homeowners under names such as “Hardship Solutions,” “First Choice Financial,“ and “Best Rate Financial Solutions.” These companies sought out borrowers that were in foreclosure trouble and promised them a loan modification for a substantial fee, ranging from $2,500 to $4,300. Company representatives promised these borrowers that they had already negotiated loan modifications with the lenders and servicers and that the borrowers were pre-approved under modification programs such as HAMP. Few, if any of these targeted borrowers were ever actually successfully modified. It is estimated that this modification scheme resulted in over $3 million in losses to over 1,000 troubled homeowners.

Late last week a federal judge in Connecticut sentenced Moarefian to 52 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Judge Underhill also ordered that Moarefian provide $2.3 million in restitution. The ringleader of the operation, Aria Maleki, was previously sentenced by Judge Underhill in July to nine years in prison for his role in the scheme.